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Tentative Agreement Averts Strike By Kaiser Permanente Pharmacists

OAKLAND (CBS SF/BCN) -- A little more than a day after reaching a tentative labor agreement with its hospital workers, Kaiser Permanente officials announced early Monday that they had done the same with the union that represents its pharmacists.

"We are very pleased to announce that at about 1 a.m. this morning, Kaiser Permanente and the Guild for Professional Pharmacists reached a tentative agreement for a new 3-year contract for pharmacists in our Northern California region," read a news release Kaiser officials issued shortly after 4 a.m. Monday.

Although details of the agreement were not disclosed, the news release reported that the new contract includes wage increases, no reductions in health benefits, maintaining retirement benefits and an increase in bonus opportunities.

Union officials cancelled the strike that was expected to begin Monday.

On Saturday morning, officials with company reached a tentative labor agreement with hospital workers, averting what would have been one of the largest strikes in the country's healthcare industry in recent memory.

The agreement between Kaiser and the Alliance of Health Care Unions applies to a four-year contract covering nearly 50,000 Kaiser Permanente health care employees in 22 local unions.

The agreement includes new staffing language to continue to protect employees and patients and annual wage increases.

It maintains benefits while providing career development and advancement opportunities for Alliance union-represented employees, according to a joint statement issued by management and the union alliance.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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